This week we’ve been focusing on the psychology of hustling, or how to unconventionally achieve disproportionate results.
- How to test responses at bars, which includes rich examples of testing in bars, streetside markets, and dozens of other areas
- 5 fascinating experiments from the world of psychology and persuasion, where I showed you how little behavioral control we actually have — and how we can use ethical persuasion principles to influence yourself and others
Today, 3 case studies of people who’ve taken my psychological methods and implemented them — and one who failed.
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3 patterns about this week’s progress
In the 200+ comments where you listed how you’d implemented this week’s challenge of meeting 3 people before Wednesday, I noticed some interesting patterns:
1. People want to help you.Most people were SHOCKED at how responsive people are when you email them with a genuine question. People WANT to help. They WANT to meet you. They WANT to give advice. But nobody asks.
2. It’s easy to do nothing. Some people had emails sitting in their Drafts folder for YEARS. This week, they finally sent them — and got responses within 5 minutes! What held them back? (Hint: It wasn’t just “motivation.”) Where else can you identify this in your life?
3. Advanced tactics for later. Sophisticated readers will notice after a while that it’s not just about being able to meet people…it soon becomes about meeting the right people. That’s a topic for another time.
Overall you did an excellent job reaching out.
But by far the most interesting thing I noticed was that some people were still making the mistake of focusing on THEMSELVES. ‘Can *I* take him out to lunch? What should *I* ask him? *I* think….*I* want….”
One of the advanced techniques I teach to my Earn1k students is how to get in your customers’ heads — how to focus on them — and it’s applicable not just in business, but in your personal life too.
It sounds obvious, but it’s HARD.
It means deeply understanding people’s hopes, fears, and dreams before you pitch them on something.
This isn’t just about making money. It could be about helping your boyfriend lose weight, or your wife manage her money better, or having your partner and you both resolve to quit your jobs and travel the world.
For example, if you’re trying to get a raise, what would make your boss instantly say yes?
If you want to show your boyfriend that he, too, can quit his job and travel the world for 6 months, what would get him to take action?
If you’re trying to land a $30,000 deal that your competitors are only charging $2,000 for, how do you make yourself irresistible?
If you’re trying to sell services to a 24-year-old woman vs. a 42-year-old woman, how would your pitch differ?
Using psychology to ethically influence other people is not about nifty persuasion tricks and hacks. Ethical persuasion is first and foremost about deeply understanding your audience.
I know, I know. That’s not as sexy as “81 Mindhacks That Persuade Girls to Drop Their Panties!!!” But understanding others — when done properly — works better than you would believe.
Case study: Meeting a busy person using Mental Scenario Planning
For example, reader bp wrote about her experience in meeting an extremely busy professor — with winning results:
Week 2 results:
I decided to call one professor I absolutely admire about career advice. Unfortunately, he’s quite unapproachable (excentric genius kind of person). Considering I have phone anxiety and generally don’t talk much to people at college, I started with a simple test.
I typed up a list with all the phone numbers of ALL of the professors I’ve ever had a class with, and some stuff I could talk to them about (well, a question per professor, so the call wouldn’t be strange.)
Getting past the secretary:
“Hi, this is a student of ..“ – forget it, the professor is almost always occupied.
”Hi, I’m calling about the professors’ new book.“ – sometimes works.
“Hi, this is (my name) from (the company I occasionally work for), I’m calling about his lecture on (etc, etc).“ – works awesomely.
Talking with the prof:
“Hi, I’m a student, calling about your lecture in -“ – asked me to go to office hours for such things. Didn’t care.
“Hi, I’m a student working on a project about (lecture topic). I’m attending your lecture, but there’s one or two questions -“
– Professor is interested 8/10 times and if prompted, agrees to meet me for a coffee. Of course, then it takes a few hours to think up a project…
In the end, I have coffee dates with several profs for the next week – including today. Today I met the professor I originally targeted and we talked about my project (which I had spend the entire day on – thinking it up, making some daring assumptions to have preliminary results – he loved one of the ideas), about our love for that topic (didn’t need to fake that one), recent developments (Did you know – ? I did, but it’s nice to hear that students read industry blog abc
Results: I’m going to grad school with a horrid GPA – to one of the most profilic and brilliant people in my field. I’m officially working on a project I faked – and it is actually quite interesting. Also, I’m totally over my phone anxiety.
Life officially rocks.
What bp is doing here is quite sophisticated. She is mentally crafting a “scenario plan” of how the person will respond if she says A, B, and C. This is extraordinarily difficult. Try for yourself: Visualize the person you are trying to meet, and come up with 3-5 different pitches. How would they respond? You’ll notice that it is actually physiologically taxing to understand the world from another person’s perspective.
But the best people can do it — and they achieve disproportionate results.
BP is the winner of this week’s Taking Action award, and she gets $250 (for taking others out to coffee) or 15 minutes on the phone with me.
Case study: Overcoming fear
Here’s another example from reader Jonah, who writes about how he overcame his fear of reaching out to new people:
WEEK 2 RESULTS
On tuesday I wrote down 5 people that I found fascinating and wanted to meet. One of them is a local entrepreneur who have done some really amazing things.
Now I’ve noticed that giving first is a good start so I decided to test something, the “just a heads up” following an engaging question about his/her business/philosophy. Because I’m quite web savvy it comes naturally to suggest improvements and provide solutions to technical problems. People are often very grateful because they might often love the web but hate the tech.
This time I simply pointed out some bugs in a newly released project of his and followed up with some other stuff. After a few emails he asks if I want to grab a lunch on friday? Sure! Then he emails me today that it’s on him as well!
One thing I learned is that I often make up worst case-scenarios in my head when waiting for a reply when in fact this is just another negative script. I’m not sure what the best way would be to get rid of this but I’ll try to break it down (why am I often expecting the worst?). I’m thinking it’s often a defense mechanism so that while I’m waiting i’m trying to create a rescue plan _just in case_. This is nuts.
Jonah did two things:
1. Offered value by pointing out bugs and offering ways to help FIRST
2. Critically examined his own fears of making up “worst-case scenarios” in his head. “What if they say this? What if they say that?” While most people try to attack the ATTITUDE, you can short-circuit the entire premise by simply attacking the behavior. Execute a behavior and often — not always, but often — the attitudes will follow.
Case study: Using psychology to earn tens of thousands of dollars
One of my students, David N., recorded a video talking about a psychological technique that he learned from my Earn1k course on earning more money:
(Skip to 0:18 to for the main meat.)
- Using my techniques, he switched from a 9-5 job to freelancing. Despite only working 7 months last year, he made 15% more than his old job. And he traveled the world in the remaining 5 months.
- Using my Earn1k DIFT Technique, he ANTICIPATED what his clients would need. This is so different than waiting for someone to tell you what to do. How different? This alone was worth tens of thousands of dollars to him last year alone
BONUS case study: Confidence and conversational skills
A few months ago, I spoke to one of my students, Rachel K., on a recorded call. She wanted help with her freelance-photography idea.
And she was failing! In fact, on the call I yelled at her and told her to stop being creepy and to start understanding the people she was talking to.
Here’s the call. It’s pretty funny. Listen here:
(Can’t see the audio player? Click here for the file.)
Read the transcript here:
The good news is that, a few months later, Rachel has now found another job, lost 20lbs, moved to her dream location (Nashville), and is earning hundreds / month on the side. In fact, I hired her.
Understanding the psychology of persuasion is critical because people are not rational. Yes, we “should” be out there meeting people and staying fit and managing our money, but we’re not. Why not? How can we understand our limitations and work around them?
Persuasion is also critical to ethically influencing other people. I’ll write more about ethical guidelines in the coming weeks, but you can certainly change people’s behaviors for the better if you always aim to persuade people to do what they already want to do.
I’ve only scratched the surface of getting inside people’s heads. It is HARD — astonishingly hard. I often spend HOURS drafting one email.
But once it’s done, it usually works. And I achieve disproportionate results from it. Like David, my student, who used my DIFT Technique to quit his job, increase his earnings 15% (working only 7 months/year), and get tens of thousands of dollars on a new deal. It wasn’t easy. But his rewards are now disproportionately higher than even the amount of time he put in.
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